Liberty Bank Building Wins 2022 Northwest + Pacific AIA Design Award

Date Posted: 09.26.2022

Liberty Bank Building received an Honorable Mention in the Residential Category of the 2022 Northwest and Pacific AIA Design Awards program. In all, fourteen projects were recognized for design excellence following the jury’s review of 100 projects entered by architects from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana and the Marianas.

The design jury commented that the strength of Liberty Bank Building lies in the extensive public input incorporated in the design, the integration of public art featuring work by local African-American artists, and the quality of interior spaces.

Liberty Bank Building was developed by Community Roots Housing in partnership with Africatown Community Land Trust, the Black Community Impact Alliance and Byrd Barr Place. The project design and construction team included Mithun (architecture, interior design and landscape architecture); Coughlin Porter Lundeen (civil and structural engineering); Rushing (MEP engineering); 4EA Building Sciences (building envelope); SpecRite (specifications); Endelman & Associates (accessibility); Al Doggett Studios (art curator); and Walsh Construction (general contractor).

Critical community input was gathered from an advisory board of the descendants of Liberty Bank founders and Central District neighborhood leaders: Jocquelyn Duncan, Derryl Durden, Michelle Purnell-Hepburn, Merle Richlen, George Staggers and Pastor Reggie C. Witherspoon. They helped ensure that the building now tells the story of the Liberty Bank through art, historic documents, and architecture. Led by co-curators Al Doggett and Esther Ervin of Al Doggett Studio, a team of nine local Black artists—Lisa Brown, Minnie Collins, Al Doggett, Esther Ervin, Aramis Hamer, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Lawrence Pitre, Ashby Reed, and Inye Wokoma—developed art installations to honor the legacy of Liberty Bank and celebrate the vibrancy of the Black community in the Central District.